7:14pm: It’s a torn ACL for Butt, who will need to undergo surgery, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
9:51am: A potential first-round pick may have seriously injured his knee during last night’s Orange Bowl. Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com writes that Michigan tight end Jake Butt left last night’s contest with an injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh was unsure of any specifics, but he acknowledged that the offensive weapon likely tore his ACL or MCL.
It can take months for athletes to recover from an ACL or MCL tear, meaning Butt will likely miss both the Combine and individual workouts with NFL teams. CBS Sports recently projected that Butt would be selected towards the end of the first round or beginning of the second round. He ranked second behind Alabama’s O.J. Howard among tight end prospects.
It’s certainly admirable that Butt prioritized his team over himself, and some NFL team’s will presumably appreciate that team-first attitude. However, while Butt should still be taken in the upcoming NFL draft, we shouldn’t expect to see him selected in the first two rounds. We can only assume that Butt’s draft stock has dropped with this recent injury, which will also cost the prospect significant money.
Butt had collected three catches and 28 yards last night prior to the injury. This season, the senior tight end compiled 46 receptions for 546 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite the injury, Butt said that he doesn’t regret playing in last night’s Orange Bowl.
“Never once crossed my mind to sit this game out and I would never change that mindset,” Butt tweeted. “I play this game because I love it, my teammates and coaches.”
We’ve seen a number of potential first-round draft prospects announce that they’ll skip out on their team’s bowl game to avoid injury, including LSU running back Leonard Fournette and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.